Do You Know What to Avoid When Selecting an Attorney?
Choosing an attorney isn’t a simple decision. There are common mistakes people make when making this choice:
1. Asking for a referral
It is good to get referrals because you will have some sense of the work the attorney does or did for the person referring. However, quite often you are being referred to an attorney who may have handled a different type of matter.
2. Not researching the attorney
A website is a good place to start, but the content is most often written by a marketing company. Many good online review sites exist to do additional research. Google and Avvo.com are popular websites and good places to begin.
3. Not asking for a plan
There are tens of thousands of lawyers in New Jersey alone and many know how to handle a divorce or family matter. However, divorces are very complicated, emotional, and expensive. It is a mistake to simply let your attorney handle your case like everyone else’s case. You should request a summary of issues and a range of potential outcomes and expected costs. Now, it is important to understand no attorney can guarantee any outcome and even the ranges of expected costs can be difficult to predict. However, any experienced attorney can give some sort of a projection and expectation.
4. Interviewing only one attorney
Sometimes people are just a good fit, and you shouldn’t ignore that, but, that being said, it’s hard to judge an attorney when you only know what one has to offer. You should compare prices, experience, and how well you two interact because you’re going to possibly have a long-term relationship. Sometimes the most expensive attorney will end up costing the least because of significant experience and other times minimizing costs are in your best interest. You only know this by meeting with several attorneys before making the decision.
5. Choosing an attorney by gender
Many clients believe that one gender or another will better understand him or her or the issues of their case. Again, you should not ignore a good fit, but, more often than not, both male and female attorneys can and will be well suited for a given client or issue. Experience and approach will potentially yield a much greater result than relying on gender to help move an issue forward.
6. Asking for case law that matches their issues or cases
Case law does define the law in New Jersey, but few, if any, will ever match the facts of any other given case. You should be more concerned with the attorney’s knowledge and understanding of your issues and relevant case law, but not expect any specific case on point to match yours. It is more of an analysis between the fact patterns and the reasoning for the decisions, not the specific fact of the case that resulted in any given decision.
7. Asking for success statistics
It is impossible to measure success in a divorce or family law matter. The only way we can measure success is by a satisfied client. Most cases will settle by mutual compromises and agreements, so it is a give and take. Additionally, the cases that actually go to a trial will result in multiple issues being decided. As such, there are gains and losses to any decision by a judge or by any settlement. As such, it’s hard to call any decision or outcome successful or failure. Why would The Micklin Law Group, LLC pay for this evaluation?